The following were among actions taken at the Oct. 13 meeting of the District of Columbia Council.
LIMIT ON TERMS -- Council member Frank Smith (D-Ward 1) introduced legislation that would limit future mayors of the District to two four-year terms in office. A special provision would allow Mayor Marion Barry, currently in his third term, to serve a fourth term if he runs and wins in the 1990 election.
"A perpetual term in office can compel the executive to willingly exchange endless favors in order to ensure reelection," Smith said at the meeting. The bill was immediately cosponsored by nine of the 12 other council members.
VIDEO PRIVACY -- Chairman David Clarke introduced legislation that would make it a misdemeanor for video stores to disclose the titles of tapes rented by customers. The introduction follows the publication in the City Paper of a list of tapes rented by Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.
The bill would allow such disclosures only in cases in which the customer gives written consent, a court issues a subpoena or the video store seeks legal action for collection purposes.
FACILITIES DISTRIBUTION -- Council member H.R. Crawford (D-Ward 7) introduced a bill that would require the city to devise a "fairness formula" to assure equitable distribution of community-based residential facilities among neighborhoods.
The city operates several types of facilities, including homeless shelters, drug treatment centers, halfway houses for prison parolees and group homes for the mentally ill. Currently, the location of such facilities is loosely controlled by zoning regulations. But residents of many areas in the city, particularly lower-income neighborhoods, complain that their neighborhoods are overburdened with the homes.
The release of 700 patients from St. Elizabeths Hospital, the continuing crisis of prison overcrowding and rising numbers of homeless persons have forced the District to face a growing demand for community facilities to house them.
Crawford's bill directs the mayor to survey neighborhoods, determine how many such facilities are in neighborhoods now, then devise a system allowing future ones to be placed equitably throughout the city.
OLD NINTH PRECINCT -- Council member Nadine Winter (D-Ward 6) attempted to introduce emergency legislation to expedite the planned conversion of a former police station to apartments, but withdrew the proposal after Betty Ann Kane (D-At Large), chairwoman of the Government Operations Committee, said that a nonemergency plan for use of the building would be released within a week.
The building, at 525 Ninth St. NE, is in Winter's ward. She said the emergency legislation was necessary because the long-vacant building had become a blight on the neighborhood and rising interest rates might cause developers to lose interest in the project.
But Clarke advised against using emergency legislation, which is effective for only 90 days, to govern permanent issues such as real estate transactions.
The building drew notoriety in March 1986, when Barry attempted to house 50 inmates there during a period of acute prison overcrowding. Neighborhood opposition, led by Winter, forced the city to withdraw the plan, and the building has remained vacant.
BUILDING RESTRICTION DROPPED -- The council agreed to waive a city land use regulation that calls for 15 feet of open space between public sidewalks and buildings on the west side of 43rd Street NW, between Jenifer Street and Military Road.
The move had been sought by developers, who plan a large mixed-use project with frontage on both Wisconsin Avenue and 43rd Street. Three large Washington firms -- the Donohoe Cos., the Miller Cos. and Abrams & Associates, are developing the property.
The developers of the property plan 274,000 square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail space and 125,000 square feet of residential space. The plans call for an eight- to 10-foot setback from the property line and an internal roadway within the building project to keep traffic off 43rd Street.
TROUPE REAPPOINTED -- The council unanimously approved the reappointment of D.C. auditor Otis Troupe to another six-year term. As auditor, Troupe works for the council, investigating the operations of the city administration.
BORK DISAPPROVAL -- The council passed a resolution noting its opposition to Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. The measure passed 12-0, with Carol Schwartz (At Large), the council's sole Republican, abstaining.